The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari for McCullen v. Coakley, a First Amendment case that has consumed much pro bono time and effort from Catholic University law school Professor Mark Rienzi over the past several years.
The Court has agreed to review the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that creates a 35-foot “buffer zone” restricting pro-life advocates from speaking with people entering abortion facilities. The zone restriction was signed into law in 2007 by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Opponents of the law argue it creates create censorship zones designed to stamp out constitutionally protected speech.
Professor Rienzi originally engaged with the case in 2008, when Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed the lawsuit. Today, he is lead counsel in the case alongside attorneys with the Washington, D.C. firm Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr, LLP.
“I represent peaceful pro-life grandmothers who want to stand on the sidewalk and offer alternative options to women going to the clinic,” said Rienzi.
Oral arguments in McCullen v. Coakley are expected in January